Hydroxyapatite coating affects the Wnt signaling pathway during peri-implant healing in vivo

A. Thorfve, C. Lindahl, W. Xia, K. Igawa, A. Lindahl, P. Thomsen, A. Palmquist, P. Tengvall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Owing to its bio- and osteoconductivity, hydroxyapatite (HA) is a widely used implant material, but its osteogenic properties are only partly evaluated in vitro and in vivo. The present study focused on bone healing adjacent to HA-coated titanium (Ti) implants, with or without incorporated lithium ions (Li+). Special attention was given to the Wnt signaling pathway. The implants were inserted into rat tibia for 7 or 28 days and analyzed ex vivo, mainly by histomorphometry and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). HA-coated implants showed, irrespective of Li+ content, bone-implant contact (BIC) and removal torque values significantly higher than those of reference Ti. Further, the expression of OCN, CTSK, COL1A1, LRP5/6 and WISP1 was significantly higher in implant-adherent cells of HA-coated implants, with or without Li+. Significantly higher β-catenin expression and significantly lower COL2A1 expression were observed in peri-implant bone cells from HA with 14 ng cm-2 released Li+. Interestingly, Ti implants showed a significantly larger bone area (BA) in the threads than HA with 39 ng cm-2 released Li+, but had a lower BIC than any HA-coated implant. This study shows that HA, with or without Li+, is a strong activator of the Wnt signaling pathway, and may to some degree explain its high bone induction capacity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1451-1462
Number of pages12
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Gene expression
  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Lithium
  • Osseointegration
  • Wnt signaling pathway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology


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